Article

Sex Differences in Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.34). 02/2007; 37(1):86-97. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-006-0331-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Although autism spectrum disorders (ASD) prevalence is higher in males than females, few studies address sex differences in developmental functioning or clinical manifestations. Participants in this study of sex differences in developmental profiles and clinical symptoms were 22 girls and 68 boys with ASD (mean age = 28 months). All children achieved strongest performance in visual reception and fine motor followed by gross motor and language functioning. Sex differences emerged in developmental profiles. Controlling for language, girls achieved higher visual reception scores than boys; boys attained higher language and motor scores and higher social-competence ratings than girls, particularly when controlling for visual reception. Longitudinal, representative studies are needed to elucidate the developmental and etiological significance of the observed sex differences.

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    • "This could represent a sampling bias within our data set, with more severe individuals (both boys and girls) entering our studies at this young age. As research indicates that within the more severe end of the spectrum gender differences between girls and boys are reduced (Carter et al. 2007; Fombonne 1999, 2003b), the age of our sample may indicate that these girls represent those more severely impacted thus obscuring any potential gender differences in RRBs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Due to the uneven gender ratio of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), girls are rarely studied independently from boys. Research focusing on restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) indicates that above the age of six girls have fewer and/or different RRBs than boys with ASD. In this study we investigated whether girls and boys with ASD demonstrated similar rates and types of RRBs in early childhood, using discrete observational coding from a video-taped play interaction. Twenty-nine girls with ASD were matched to 29 boys based on ASD severity. While boys in our sample demonstrated a greater frequency of RRBs, this was not significant and our findings indicate that girls and boys under five are more similar than dissimilar on this core deficit. However our data also revealed a trend toward gender-differential growth trajectories—a finding worthy of further investigation in larger samples.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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    • "shown contrasting results (Carter et al. 2007; Banach et al. 2009; Andersson et al. 2013; Van Wijngaarden-Cremers et al. 2013; Hofvander et al. 2009; Lugnegard et al. 2011; Matson and Nebel-Schwalm 2007; Park et al. 2012; Simonoff et al. 2008; Lai et al. 2011; Mayes and Calhoun 2011; Zwaigenbaum et al. 2012; Mandy et al. 2012; Szatmari et al. 2012; Donna et al. 2013). On the one hand, most studies found no gender differences on social behaviors or communication nor on RRB (Carter et al. 2007; Banach et al. 2009; Andersson et al. 2013; Hofvander et al. 2009; Lugnegard et al. 2011; Matson and Nebel-Schwalm 2007; Park et al. 2012; Simonoff et al. 2008; Lai et al. 2011; Mayes and Calhoun 2011; Zwaigenbaum et al. 2012; Mandy et al. 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Epidemiological studies have highlighted a strong male bias in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), however few studies have examined gender differences in autism symptoms, and available findings are inconsistent. The aim of the present study is to investigate the longitudinal gender differences in developmental profiles of 30 female and 30 male age-matched preschool children with ASD. All the children underwent a comprehensive evaluation at T0 and at T1. Our results have shown no significant interaction between time and gender for predicting autism symptoms, developmental quotient, parental stress, children's adaptive skills and behavior problems. Shedding light on the developmental trajectories in ASD could help clinicians to recognize children with ASD at an earlier age and contribute to the development of appropriate treatments.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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    • "Current studies provide a discrepant picture on gender related social-communication skills, but these studies are often limited due to small sample sizes. For example, in two studies girls were found to be inferior in their socialcommunication abilities relative to boys using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (Carter et al. 2007; Hartley and Sikora 2009). The sample sizes were 22 girls aged between 18 and 33 months and 42 girls 18–43 months respectively. "
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    ABSTRACT: Due to the predominance of boys diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), girls are rarely studied independently. Research specifically focusing on play and social-communication in girls with ASD is extremely varied. We were interested in whether girls with ASD demonstrated equivalent social-communication and play skills in early childhood relative to boys, using two measures focused on the specific quantification of these variables. We also examined whether the associations between developmental variables and social-communication and play differed by gender. Forty girls with ASD were individually matched to 40 boys based on ASD severity. Our results suggest that girls and boys were more similar than different, however they also raise questions about the potential differential associations between development and requesting ability in girls and boys with ASD.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
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